Communicating with your Representative - Lobbying for Smaller Schools: Educating all of Philadelphia

Our goal: have at least one SRC rep to report back to. This person will guide us through this process, answer all questions, show support, lead us in the right direction, and help us get the job done so we can reach across to all schools.
Our plan: Spread the word.
We are recruiting other SLA students to be part of our team. (Sinnea Douglas, & Amirah Burkett thus far) The more minds, the richer the ideas and arguments.
We are going to be interviewing important individuals who have experience and knowledge in various aspects of education. Their experiences can give us input on the different sections of our broad issue. They will lead us on a path toward finding the right answers for this local, but national issue. They will be able to shine a light on our road to success.
Questions for Bach Tong:

1. From your experiences as a former pupil of a comprehensive high school, how do you feel the transition was to an smaller academy?

2. Do you feel that your career interests are being met by the various programs that are offered at Science Leadership Academy? Did you have that at your old school?

3. Was your individual needs as a student met by the teacher and or programs at your old school? Are they met now? (Mention Class Size...)

4. What are the biggest differences in the education you received at the comprehensives and that of SLA?

5. How do you think the comprehensives schools can change their mission statement to make their education richer?
Along with the various interviews that we will conduct, we will go into an alternative school to conduct a short survey.  
Survey Questions

Please circle yes (Y) or no (N)
Are your career goals being met by your school now? Y N
Do you like going to school everyday? Y N
Do you receive individual attention from your teachers? Y N
Have you been in any other type of learning environment? Y N
Do you feel your education needs are being met? Y N

Please answer to your best ability
What would you like to see change about your school/education?

What do you like about your school/education?

What made you come to this school?

We are sending emails to the SRC reps to let them know what we are looking for. We are asking questions like “What can we do? How can you help? What is the process of this like? Who can we talk to next? Is this realistic? How do you feel about this issue?”
To whom it may concern,

My name is Cody Nichols, a senior at the Science Leadership Academy located on the corner of 22nd and Arch. We are a project-based and inquiry driven academy, that accepts students from all different types of backgrounds varying in the different counties in Pennsylvania. We abide by 5-Core Values that are the foundation of our school; Inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation, and reflection. These 5-Core values are embedded into every single project we complete in this school. We are an Academy that believes "as 21st Century Student we need and deserve a 21st Century Education." Which brings me to the reason for composing this e-mail.

We were assigned a project for our senior American Government Class which required us to lobby for an issue either Nationally, Statewide, or Locally. Taylor Tomasco, my partner on this project, and I felt strongly about our views on education. So we deemed it necessary to find an issue relevant to the topic of education. We decided on the belief that we need smaller neighborhood schools, and we need to not segregate misbehaved pupils into alternative schools. With this belief we would hope to break down the barriers between pupils who behave vs. pupils that misbehave, so that all may have the opportunity to receive a good education in the 21st Century.

Would you be willing to help us accomplish our goal by guiding us through this process and/or providing contact information of individuals who would be interested.  

We believe the breakdown of academies would be beneficial to all students because it would focus solely on them and only on them for their specific area.

If possible with the greatest interests, could you respond with answers to the following questions:
1. What is your take on separating pupils who misbehave into large institutions to receive the proper education with more of the same "bad students"?

2. Do you feel that the breakdown of larger schools into academies would be beneficial to the greater good of students, given the success rate of others?

3. If deemed necessary do you feel this issue needs to be taken to a higher power? And if so, could you please provide the contact information to do so?

We really would like to thank you for your time in reading this e-mail, hoping that one day, a good education can be provided to all students.

With Thanks,
Cody Nichols (11') & Taylor Tomasco (11')
We are making phone calls to schedule face time with the big boys and spread the word.
We are trying to become larger.
So far we have not received any responses. Until we do, we will keep sending emails. We are starting small and hopefully we will soon enough be able to contact Arne Duncan, Bob Brady, Mayor Nutter, & Arlene Ackerman directly.